Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.


Discussion Forum

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24. 12 Replies

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22. 12 Replies

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Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 15, 2018 at 2:58pm

Thank you, Anthony - knowing that somehow my words have helped you makes me very glad, and I send a virtual hug to you and to all here -

Love, Chuck

Comment by Anthony Umphenour on March 15, 2018 at 12:27pm

And thanks for including me into the family here.  I really needed to hear that.

Comment by Anthony Umphenour on March 15, 2018 at 12:22pm

Oh Chuck - if only I could reach out and hug you and thank you for these powerful  words.  Wow!  You get it.  Thank you!

After this wave of tears ebbs from my eyes I'm going save these comments on my Notes app so I can have these words to read within two taps on my iphone.  There are so many gems in your comments. You have given me hope. 

Big thanks again!


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 15, 2018 at 11:27am

Dear Anthony,

I know what you are talking about when you say you have trouble connecting to pleasant and happy memories of your life with Kevin. Once I found myself alone at home without Larry, for many many months I wandered around the house in a fog looking at photos of us in many places and times and they seemed like those people both were now vanished forever. Nights were somehow most unsettling when I was awake while the world slept feeling like a ghost myself. It seemed that all I could remember were Larry's last few months, and how in my mind I had so badly failed to be there for him. Long story I won't go into now. Please believe me that eventually, in your own time and at your own pace, you will find yourself once more focused on the good and beautiful things you and Kevin shared. I know it doesn't seem so now. Let yourself feel what you are feeling now and don't let it frighten or upset you too much - it is completely normal and something that for most if not all of us is part of the early grieving process. There are all sorts of timetables and stages that some people want us to adhere to as we grieve. I just can't accept the idea that we are all expected to be somewhere on a chart of feelings by a certain amount of time after our loss. We are all different with individual experiences and emotional norms. We do share the knowledge of what losing our life partner and spouse means for us all - that is something no one can completely understand until they sadly experience it for themselves. 

Your use of the word haunting resonates with me deeply, and I can only offer that for myself, I had to chose consciously to allow that new feeling into my life and find a place for it in my days in order to rob it of it's power to potentially overtake me. Sounds a bit odd maybe, and I only share this as an encouragement to find whatever way you can to make your own peace in the days ahead with the emotions that will come your way. They will come, be aware of that, but you need not face them alone, and they will not cripple or destroy you I promise. Kevin is not going to let that happen, nor is God, nor are we here in this family.

Have a peaceful day our friend, and be gentle with yourself.

Love, Chuck

Comment by Anthony Umphenour on March 15, 2018 at 9:29am

Thank you Sara and Charles, I always will appreciate your kindness. Kevin died at home with me and his brother at his side saying how much we loved him.  It was to most intimate but yet the most harrowing experience I've ever had.  His last week his brother and I gave him round the clock care along with some help from the hospice team.  We took great care of him so he could be as comfortable as possible.  But I'm haunted still by this memory of his last week.  It keeps going over and over in my mind.  I'm not trying to change anything like what could I have done better,  but over and over in my mind that dreaded week goes through my mind.  I can't remember the happy times.  Why don't those go through my mind?  My pastor told me what a wonderful gift I gave him and he was blessed to have me and his brother to help him go to heaven.  I try to think that way. But it always return to that dreaded haunting.  I do have two of his best smiling pictures in the living room his ashes between them and I talk to him in a loving way.  I have pictures of our happy times that I look at to remind me.  But it's that broken record harrowing feeling that keeps repeating and haunting me.  

Comment by deborah peck on March 15, 2018 at 8:50am

dear Mary Jane, I think that is such  a good thing that the date didn't pop out at you because you are right that it would've been that much harder.keep on plodding along this journey

Comment by Mary. Jane on March 14, 2018 at 11:13pm

Hi kids,

a rather odd thing happened to me yesterday,. I was rather #STUNNED when I realized it,,but in a strange sense,,it I’d a good thing, my brother got married one year after I did,, and I found out they R having a 50th anniversary party for he and gphis wife this weekend! I thought thry’d got the dates I looked up our marriage certificate and much to my SSHOCK, I realized I had MISSED our 50th anniversary,,which was LAST JUNE! I thought it was THIS JUNE!ip it had passed without me even realizing it!

at first I was a bit upset, bun then realized I would have spent the day crying for what we had lost etc, but now that I realize it passed without me even knowing it! The BIG 50! Now I don,tnhave to stress about it this June,,and I am ok with last June 17th was our 50th......which means Bob died 16 months b4 , and we were married 49 years...not 48.He hated celebrating big stuff like that anyway we had renewed our vows on our 30th...and my daughter worked so hard for me positive incentive to start seriously packing..I am focusing on being out of here and back to the SF Bay Area before 2019, I have hope for the first time since Bob died

Comment by Sara Murphy on March 14, 2018 at 9:49pm

HI Chuck,

So good to hear from you again.   This latest storm dumped 2 ft of snow on us but luckily didn't lose electricity this time.  If you can believe it, they're predicting another nor'easter for Tuesday. You must be happy to be in Dallas at this time of year.  Funny thing is, I did have a fleeting thought of hoping a plane to Texas but reality set in.  I can't exactly fly away on a whim. I did have 2 people call and check in, my mother and my brother.  

I hope you and Steve are doing well and you've settled into your new home.  Please be sure to keep us updated. 

Love you,


Comment by Sara Murphy on March 14, 2018 at 9:37pm

Anthony......the loss of a spouse is unlike any other.  I can't believe how much water is inside one person but when I first lost Ken, the tears would just stream down my face and down my neck.  Can't believe I wasn't hospitalized for dehydration.  Ken was and still is my whole world.  We were together for 30 years.  I understand the emptiness you mention as does everyone here.  As David says, even if you can't verbalize exactly how you feel, just put anything down and we'll be able to relate.  Ken didn't have cancer but he had serious health issues with various organs beginning in 2008.  I think the worst thing ever is to watch the person you love most suffer and not be able to do anything about it.

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 14, 2018 at 8:49pm

Dear Sara,

I hope this latest storm hasn't created too many problems for you - Steve and I are anxiously watching the weather as it surrounds areas where we have family, and naturally that includes you dear friend. Let us know that you are OK, and if you need anything at all, holler out  - promise?

Love, Chuck


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